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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:25 pm 
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Moral theology is one thing but when your weeks old baby is starving for milk or formula and crying his poor little eyes out see if your driven to break into wall mart for your baby's survival.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 5:48 pm 
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tobit wrote:
Moral theology is one thing but when your weeks old baby is starving for milk or formula and crying his poor little eyes out see if your driven to break into wall mart for your baby's survival.


I understand what you are saying, but you CANNOT mitigate moral law, especially as clear as the 10 Commandments of God. And I saw Quo Vadis bring up moral responsibility and modifiers of responsibility. However, things like fear of death, etc are only modifiers if the person is not aware of them as inhibiting the will. If you are consciously aware of your fear, and choose to act in an immoral way, this does not lessen your responsibility. If something like fear is used as an excuse or motive to act, then it ceases to be a modifier of moral responsibility, and can even add moral responsibility.

If your baby is starving to death, and you are productive in society, or at least willing to be, and no one offers payment in the way of at least essential goods, then you have already earned your right to some of them anyway. Thus, you are NOT stealing. You are NOT breaking a commandment. You are merely taking possession of something that is already yours.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:47 pm 
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One last thing to add...

I think often we fall into the moral trap that our society sets. We become elitists and when we think of those who are poor or suffering, we think of people who have no "brains" or who are helpless. This is not the case. Someone who is poor is still called to be as moral as anyone else. If someone has the right to take possession of essential goods to survive, even if the civil law regards this as stealing, they have to do so morally. Thus, if this person has the choice between taking a tuna fish sandwich or a lobster dinner with all the trimmings, I would think that they could reason their right is limited to the tuna fish sandwich. They do not have a right to luxury, but to the essentials to survive. They still have to keep from falling into gluttony or self-righteousness. Their taking the goods is not to be motivated out of a sense of "sticking it to the man" or "they owe me", but rather that they have a natural claim to sustain life in an unjust economy. They should do so without major scandal or impact.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:01 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Doom, I'm sorry, but I am not aware of any Catholic moral theologian who would disagree with FJ's thesis.



The doctrine that 'Society owes me, and if I don't get what I want, then I have the right to take it by force' , and that therefore poverty justifies violence and crime, is a Marxist doctrine. Since when did Catholic moral theologians embrace Marxist principles? I will say once again, society doesn't 'owe me' anything, if I am poor or unemployed, for example, this is not 'society's fault' and it doens't give me the right to break the law. The fact that one is in a condition of poverty, does not justify immorality on his part.

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Thomas Aquinas was a Marxist?

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Volatile Geek Doom wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Doom, I'm sorry, but I am not aware of any Catholic moral theologian who would disagree with FJ's thesis.



The doctrine that 'Society owes me, and if I don't get what I want, then I have the right to take it by force' , and that therefore poverty justifies violence and crime, is a Marxist doctrine. Since when did Catholic moral theologians embrace Marxist principles? I will say once again, society doesn't 'owe me' anything, if I am poor or unemployed, for example, this is not 'society's fault' and it doens't give me the right to break the law. The fact that one is in a condition of poverty, does not justify immorality on his part.


Doom... you are quickly turning this into a strawman... I have already addressed such an attitude.

FJ


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:05 am 
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KirkJunkie My scenario is not merely about being poor but being in a do or die situation. THere are no stores open for these people to pay for baby food or formula even if they were willing to pay. They have a choice to stay alive and bend the rules a bit or make thier child die knowing that they have kept the law perfectly. Heck Jesus broke the Law (the Sabbath) to heal and save people lives.
The Law says thou shalt not kill also but in a situation where you will be killed if you not defend yourself you can bend this rule right?
Let's not get to legalistic on our moral theology high towers here.
Many people are inhumane situations where food and water are not probided by the governemnt in dire circumstance they have choice to die or not to die by keeping the law perfect. Why do I feel that we have become Pharisees about the law that was mean for normative circumstances and not for life or death situations.
Did Jesus do the right thing working miracles on the sabbath or should he have kept the law no matter if it caused death or allow more human suffering?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:15 am 
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tobit wrote:
KirkJunkie My scenario is not merely about being poor but being in a do or die situation. THere are no stores open for these people to pay for baby food or formula even if they were willing to pay. They have a choice to stay alive and bend the rules a bit or make thier child die knowing that they have kept the law perfectly. Heck Jesus broke the Law (the Sabbath) to heal and save people lives.
The Law says thou shalt not kill also but in a situation where you will be killed if you not defend yourself you can bend this rule right?
Let's not get to legalistic on our moral theology high towers here.
Many people are inhumane situations where food and water are not probided by the governemnt in dire circumstance they have choice to die or not to die by keeping the law perfect. Why do I feel that we have become Pharisees about the law that was mean for normative circumstances and not for life or death situations.
Did Jesus do the right thing working miracles on the sabbath or should he have kept the law no matter if it caused death or allow more human suffering?


Tobit,

I think that you are misunderstanding what KJ has said.

We cannot "bend rules", but as the catechism states the people who are doing these things to survive are not stealing and are not sinning.

The commandment is "Thou shall not murder". Killing can be justified in certain circumstances, such as self defense. That doesn't mean that we bend or ignore the commandment, but the in this case the commandment is not being violated.

The same with stealing. Stealing is always wrong, but when you have made every possible attempt to aquire the goods you need to and you cannot, then it is not stealing if you have to take those necessities.

Likewise with our Lord and the Sabbath. Our Lord was not telling the pharisees that sometimes its okay to violate the sabbath, but that healing a sick person in no way was violating the sabbath. He wasn't saying we must break rules sometimes, but that a rule wasn't being broken at all, but the pharisees were too hard hearted to see that.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:04 am 
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Bonaventure wrote:
tobit wrote:
KirkJunkie My scenario is not merely about being poor but being in a do or die situation. THere are no stores open for these people to pay for baby food or formula even if they were willing to pay. They have a choice to stay alive and bend the rules a bit or make thier child die knowing that they have kept the law perfectly. Heck Jesus broke the Law (the Sabbath) to heal and save people lives.
The Law says thou shalt not kill also but in a situation where you will be killed if you not defend yourself you can bend this rule right?
Let's not get to legalistic on our moral theology high towers here.
Many people are inhumane situations where food and water are not probided by the governemnt in dire circumstance they have choice to die or not to die by keeping the law perfect. Why do I feel that we have become Pharisees about the law that was mean for normative circumstances and not for life or death situations.
Did Jesus do the right thing working miracles on the sabbath or should he have kept the law no matter if it caused death or allow more human suffering?


Tobit,

I think that you are misunderstanding what KJ has said.

We cannot "bend rules", but as the catechism states the people who are doing these things to survive are not stealing and are not sinning.

The commandment is "Thou shall not murder". Killing can be justified in certain circumstances, such as self defense. That doesn't mean that we bend or ignore the commandment, but the in this case the commandment is not being violated.

The same with stealing. Stealing is always wrong, but when you have made every possible attempt to aquire the goods you need to and you cannot, then it is not stealing if you have to take those necessities.

Likewise with our Lord and the Sabbath. Our Lord was not telling the pharisees that sometimes its okay to violate the sabbath, but that healing a sick person in no way was violating the sabbath. He wasn't saying we must break rules sometimes, but that a rule wasn't being broken at all, but the pharisees were too hard hearted to see that.


Thx Bonaventure...

I must REALLY be unclear, because on the one hand Doom thinks I am a communist who wants equal distribution, and on the other hand, Tobit thinks I am a pharisee who wants these people to starve to death... I must go back and read where I went wrong in my explanation... i thought i was clear...

FJ


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:00 am 
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KJ/FJ - FWIW I understood what you were saying and I don't think you are either a Communist/Marxist or a Pharisee.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:46 am 
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2407 In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world's goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbor's rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the Lord, who "though he was rich, yet for your sake . . . became poor so that by his poverty, you might become rich."

2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:33 pm 
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I am pretty far to the right politically, but do agree with KJ, Obi, et al on this issue.

Consider also that that parent wanting to provide for their starving children may not legally be in a position to pay for food. There may be no employees, no electricity, no store open, etc. Here are the options: steal food and water or watch my children wither away. I would bet my house that all on this board who are parents would take care of their children.

Morally, ISTM, similar to killing someone in self defense - not the ideal situation granted, but a by product of protecting one's own life. Similarly, stealing food because it is the only way to provide sustenance to your dependents, while not ideal, is warranted if no other option exists.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:47 pm 
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David Hopkins wrote:
I am pretty far to the right politically, but do agree with KJ, Obi, et al on this issue.

Consider also that that parent wanting to provide for their starving children may not legally be in a position to pay for food. There may be no employees, no electricity, no store open, etc. Here are the options: steal food and water or watch my children wither away. I would bet my house that all on this board who are parents would take care of their children.

Morally, ISTM, similar to killing someone in self defense - not the ideal situation granted, but a by product of protecting one's own life. Similarly, stealing food because it is the only way to provide sustenance to your dependents, while not ideal, is warranted if no other option exists.


Right, but the point is that it is not stealing if that is the case.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:56 pm 
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Bonaventure wrote:
David Hopkins wrote:
I am pretty far to the right politically, but do agree with KJ, Obi, et al on this issue.

Consider also that that parent wanting to provide for their starving children may not legally be in a position to pay for food. There may be no employees, no electricity, no store open, etc. Here are the options: steal food and water or watch my children wither away. I would bet my house that all on this board who are parents would take care of their children.

Morally, ISTM, similar to killing someone in self defense - not the ideal situation granted, but a by product of protecting one's own life. Similarly, stealing food because it is the only way to provide sustenance to your dependents, while not ideal, is warranted if no other option exists.


Right, but the point is that it is not stealing if that is the case.


Exactly... And David, please know that this is not a political issue. I am on the right side as well (despite the accusation of being a moderate by MC)... As Obi said, everything belongs ultimately to God. If we work "the land" we have a right to at least the basics of life for us and our family. This is Natural Law. Civil Law provides for an economic structure where certain jobs are given certain other provisions of property. This is fine as long as Natural Law is not interfered with. That is, it is immoral for there to be people who are working, but not provided with the basic necessities of life. They have already earned these by their work, and for society to withhold them, or create an economy where the pay scale is not enough to aquire the goods, then in reality these people are not being given what is theirs by Natural Right. So, they are obliged to aquire them despite civil law.

And charity is not enough. While that does alleviate their need to go out and "steal" according to civil law, it is an attack on their dignity. Someone who works should not be recieving charity, but a life sustaining wage.

So, there is nothing wrong with capitalism in general. But, it cannot create an environment where workers cannot provide the very basics of life. I am NOT arguing that we need to provide luxuries to people, or that everyone needs a TV. I am saying that people shouldn't be dying. I realize their is some subjectivity here as to what constitutes "essentials". I am not offering a prescription for what those would be. Only that the principle remains.

Luxury items, (a car, a TV, extra spending money, even certain utilities) can be provided by charity. These are not what I am talking about. But food and water and protection from the elements are things that we have a natural right to when we work.

FJ

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 4:02 pm 
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Hehe, I write one line and people understand me.....you write several well thought out paragraphs and no one gets it :P

We love ya FJ!

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Bonaventure wrote:
Hehe, I write one line and people understand me.....you write several well thought out paragraphs and no one gets it :P

We love ya FJ!


That's why we work well together. And also why I am good for your reputation. With your "FJ Secret Decoder Ring" I can continue to make things as difficult as possible allowing you to sweep in and save the day with your pithiness. It's a beautiful thing.

FJ

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kirkjunkie wrote:
Bonaventure wrote:
Hehe, I write one line and people understand me.....you write several well thought out paragraphs and no one gets it :P

We love ya FJ!


That's why we work well together. And also why I am good for your reputation. With your "FJ Secret Decoder Ring" I can continue to make things as difficult as possible allowing you to sweep in and save the day with your pithiness. It's a beautiful thing.

FJ


::): . I think you need a pay raise FJ :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:34 am 
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ARgh. That's it. This one has tormented me for the last time. I'm asking the Cardinal.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:54 am 
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Why? Does the Cardinal have a FJ Secret Decoder Ring? :)

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Quo Vadis wrote:
Why? Does the Cardinal have a FJ Secret Decoder Ring? :)


::): ::):

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